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    Perrin’s Gracie Turner prepares to serve the ball at the Pirate’s match against Three Way. Photo/Trevor M. Wyatt

Perrin sweeps Three Way with strong third set

Three Way kept it close for the first two sets against Perrin on Tuesday, Oct. 1, but a strong third set sealed the deal and kept Coach Rebekah Bland happy.

The first set started out well, with Perrin jumping out to early leads in both, but unforced errors on Perrin’s side started piling up late. After being up as much as 16-8, the Pirates had a string of spikes and taps that went out on Three Way’s side, as well as a net serve. The Pirates bounced back to take the lead 24-14, but more unforced errors and a good dig on Three Way’s side brought the score to 24-18 before Kelli Tucker put it away with a spike to win.

The second set was the only time the Pirates fell behind Three Way, trailing 9-6 after three bad spikes. After a Perrin time-out, Nayeli Lopez was able to get a nice dig that Three Way missed, leading to two Gracie Turner aces to tie the game. The Pirates did not look back after that, and although the game was eventually tied 11-11, the Pirates found solace in captain Molly Heagy’s four aces, the last two of which were daggers and led the Pirates to win 25-21.

Coach Bland said that after the two sets were finished, she told the girls something that made her team laugh.

“I told them that the only way to get me to smile was playing as well as we could in the third set,” Bland said.

Play well they did, as after winning the first point on an Aaliyah Brown tap-over, Kelli Tucker came in and served for 10 straight points, including five aces. Tucker said she felt nervous, but needed to remember to calm down and keep the ball in play.

“When points start piling up like that you get a little excited, maybe a little overconfident,” Tucker said. “I just tried to serve the ball in and allow my team to do what they do.”

The Pirates did not let up and Tucker came in to serve the last point of the game, getting another ace and sealing the sweep with a 25-7 third set victory.

Coach Bland was very happy with the last set and said it helps the team when everyone plays at their best.

“It makes the girls happy to play like that,” Bland said. “When you’re happy, you’re confident and when you’re confident you play well. Hopefully this can carry over to the rest of our season.”

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